Competitive sports and homeschooling
A while back I was hammered for
noting that a negative aspect of homeschooling was participation in sports. I said:
2. Some talented athletes require a school to achieve their potential (I am thinking football mostly). Uncommon problem for most homeschooling parents.
Seems my position has been more than vindicated when ESPN goes to bat for me with States having trouble passing "Tebow laws"
Only 24 states allow homeschoolers to participate in extracurricular activities at public schools.
Being banned from public school teams is reality for some. The Ketchum family has gone against its ideal of education and enrolled two of its children in high-powered Briarwood Christian Academy in Birmingham: daughter and future Auburn basketball player Ruth, who was searching for a basketball scholarship, and son Phillip, who wants to pursue football in college.
There is no getting around it. For homeschoolers in over half the states in the United States access to "scholarship visible" competition is limited. That is a reality homeschoolers will need to come to terms with as more and more people exit the school system in favor of the homeschooling life.
FYI, according to this
participation in public school sports by homeschoolers IS allowed in the state of Louisiana. That said, I am not sure it is part of public school teams ... I will try to find out.
HT to CMR
UPDATE: I posted this as a comment elsewhere:
The more I think about this the more I think homeschoolers need to take this lump with the choice. If your kid is that good, put him back in school.
The main reason is one of allowing the state a foot into the door. Once you have opened that can of worms you have voluntarily relinquished parental rights that are presumably some of the reason you chose to homeschool in the first place. Ultimately parental rights are more important ...
The correct solution is regional un-affliated homeschool umbrellas. Another problem with allowing homeschool students into a public school to compete is that the choice opens up a WIDE chasm for abuse. For example, your son is struggling in the 9th grade. He is 5-star recruit good. Why not homeschool him and lower your academic standards so he can focus all of his attention on athletics? I would be an easy and widespread choice. The schools have no way to police this type of abuse nor do I think the taxpayers should pay for it. Homeschool umbrellas have the same problem EXCEPT that it requires a fee (you pay for your own stuff) to get in. The parents would also have to pool to pay for a salary, obtaining access to a practice field etc. Its a system that could be required to be self policed like mandatory testing to ensure a minimum of academics is met. All of this could be required to be covered at the expense of homeschooling parents (i.e. no taxpayer dimes) ... That leaves the whole system and thus the whole choice of homeschooling untethered from the state. Ultimately that is what needs to be retained.
Church opposition to gay marriage
If you are curious why the Church opposes gay marriage ...
Its short, in terms of Vatican documents :)
My severe weather warnings page in action
This is a screen shot of my Severe Weather Warnings page (click to see a full size image) ....
If you happen onto this blog and see the upside down red triangle (
) on the right that means there is an active tornado warning going on in the United States. See the yellow box UNDER the blue box in the upper right corner.
If you see the little tornado (
) up under Storm Reports that means an ACTUAL tornado was reported within the last 3 hours. See the top yellow box in the upper right corner.
If you are a little
more curious, you can click on the Storms Overview link (light blue box on the right of the image above)
and get some detailed information. The icon (
) indicates that a tornado is on the ground. I put a big red arrow on screen shot to point it out. Weather enthusiasts will note that image is the supposed first photograph ever taken of a tornado. I wanted to differentiate between an actual tornado and the vast majority of radar indicated (
) warnings. The logic that places the icons is not perfect but its pretty good.
The radar image shows the storm that the tornado is part of. The circle with the crosshairs in the middle is the initial location for the warning. I drew another red arrow on the radar image to point that out. Sometimes the delay between the initial warning and the radar can be a good bit so the storm may already be way past the initial point.
The green box
in the lower right shows the warning text indicating the tornado on the ground. If you click on any of the warnings on the right of my blog you can get the text.
FYI the lower left of the image shows a severe thunderstorm warning with dangerous lightning and nickel sized hail. There is also a radar image with that and with every warning on the page. Its interesting that all of this lined up when it did. Now you can know what all that weather related stuff is that fills in the blank space on my blog.
Embryonic stem cell research soon to be irrelevant debate?
Well .. not in the short term.Stem Cell Advance
More than ever, it appears that the promise of such pluripotent cells can be explored—all the way from basic science to the clinic—without the need to use or destroy human embryos, and so without political or ethical controversy.
Excellent news. Now partisan Republicans can clear McCain's support for stem cell research from the record almost entirely because soon the debate regarding ESCR will end on the note that embryos aren't even necessary.
Just remember McCain doesn't become more ideal just because this issue looks like it will become functionally irrelevant. Fact is, he still supported it.
The power of the boxes ...
This is somewhat timely. Mercatornet has an interesting article on ideological boxes
... which reminds me of something Hurricane Gustav highlighted to me.
In the morning many of us get up off a sleeping box, to hop into a cleansing box. We then meander around the inner compartments of a home box getting ready. We then leave the home box and hop into a transport box. From transport box we go to the office box. In the office box we often stare at a glowing information box. From office box we use the transport box to go to a lunch box and back. We then use transport box to go back to home box where we often stare at information box or entertainment box until we finally find ourselves back on the sleeping box. The bulk of time many of us spend outside is tending the odd thing we call "nature" outside the box in order to make it look pleasant for our neighbors passing in their transport boxes. If we fail to tend the outer box we risk an angry message placed in a mail box and transported (by boxes) to our mail/home box.
Even when people leave their box and venture into the nature space, they tie themselves to a small music box thus effectively force-fielding themselves from contact with non-box attached neighbors.
Our actual contact with people is increasingly limited to boxes ...
The hurricane graciously forced us out of our boxes. People spent more time outside of their homes than I have ever seen. It was like the scene in Wall-E where the man and the woman touch hands and realize that something HUGE has been missing. The neighbors milling around outdoors was just another reminder to me that we need to spend more time outside after work.
Sadly when the power came back, the power of the boxes returned. In my not so humble opinion we need to back off the boxes .... ----- a short aside on the election -----
The election is really depressing me. Not the candidates, although that does cause heartburn, but what passes for debate these days.
Mercatornet has one of those classic comments in an article critical of Obama AND McCain that calls the writer racist because he had the nerve to be critical of Obama. Just remember it is IMPOSSIBLE to have legitimate political differences with Obama. To vote against him is clearly a measure on the widespread prevalence of racism in this country. The number of non-Obama votes will be used as evidence of just how prevalent racism is.
All I will say about it is that I am NOT voting for Obama. Beyond that my vote will remain a secret but I can guarantee you that my vote has nothing to do with race.
Are we a nation of ninnies?
OK I said I wasn't going to blog but I have a couple of rants to get off my chest .. maybe I am rethinking this blogging thing ... First
off Hurricane Ike is NOT the be all end all proof that Republicans run things better than Democrats. Nor is Gustav proof that Republicans run things better than Katrina. The whole series of storms is a lesson on human nature. I wrote this on a forum I visit frequently reading someone who SERVED on the ground during Katrina and Gustav and rightly gave thanks to Katrina for preparing everyone for Gustav
The pre-hurricane effort in Louisiana before Gustav was unheard of in our state history. This is the first time I recall evacuations, for the most part, running smoothly. Some people want to give all the credit to Jindal but you hit the nail on the head with where the bulk of the credit belongs -- experience. Jindal did what he was supposed to do and since I like Jindal it doesn't hurt my feelings that he will be praised for his efforts. This storm even made Ray Nagin look better. I like to point out to folks who are not familiar with the history of hurricanes in Louisiana that it had been decades (Besty in the 60's) since New Orleans suffered a direct hit from a significant hurricane. The lower Ninth Ward flooded then just as it did with Katrina. In 2004 Hurricane Ivan headed towards NO and turned at the last minute. The evacuation for Ivan was an utter and complete disaster. Drive times from NO to BR (normally 1 hour) were in the 12+ hour range. People died in the resulting gridlock. What people don't realize is that for all that died in Katrina in 2005, it would have been a LOT worse if Ivan had not provided a dry run for the evacuation for Katrina. Still, the bad experience in 2004 almost certainly resulted in SOME of those who stayed and died (don't want to discuss the able vs. the unable -- they had a good plan for that with Gustav). The aftermath of Katrina provided very serious efforts from the state level all the way down to the prepared citizen. The mistakes made in Katrina were learned from -- at least in the short term.
Fast forward to Ike. One can make the case that Texas had its analog of Betsy-Ivan-Katrina with Carla-Rita-Ike. It had been a while since Carla (and there is very strong evidence in post-storm analysis that Alicia was not a major hurricane). A bad evacuation experience with Rita in Houston setup the people who stayed in Ike. The evacuation rate for Galveston with Rita was near 100%. Thousands supposedly stayed with Ike. Still Texas had a MUCH better plan this time. I fully believe that if the Houston metro area gets hit with another major in the next few years there will be no state more prepared to deal with it than Texas. Like I said, experience helps.
Besides the absolute greatest failure of Hurricane Ike was the number of people who didn't leave the coastal areas. Ike and its lack of media coverage is not a win you want to claim. The death toll will undoubtedly rise.Second
, Ike is a conspiracy theorists dream. Thousands stayed behind. Few died. No media coverage. Where are the missing? --Hint: more will show up. They stopped counting the dead with Katrina after a year. Katrina was a unique media event. Most hurricanes are not covered unless something unusual occurs. Levies failing is a man-made disaster. That's why it was covered. Ike has a slowly rising death toll. Even if it reaches the hundreds it won't get covered. Remember Hurricane Stan killed nearly as many as Katrina in 2005. You likely didn't know that because of Rita and an earthquake elsewhere in the world that killed tens of thousands. Part of news media is good/bad timing.
Ask yourself this? Who was the first woman to fly across the English channel? Of course you don't know. The Titanic sank the day before. Third
, my experience with Gustav was eye-opening and the further shaky economy could take it to a new level. Americans are used to getting things when they want it. Credit is like water and everyone is in debt. We spend more than we make and we don't save. Worse is that Americans are increasingly expecting someone else to provide it for them. People may claim to be against socialism but when you are increasingly expecting state help when things go south, you are setting up a culture that wants socialism whether you claim to be opposed to it or not. When you take away electricity people do not see it as an opportunity to see the stars. They complain about it and expect the state to pick up the tab for their misfortune. "I didn't get anything out of Katrina" ... Good. I cannot tell you how many supposed conservatives were ranting on local radio about how it wasn't fair that FEMA wanted to LOAN them funds for a generator after the storm.
Since when was AC and electricity a necessity for life?
Before you jump on me for the "medical necessity" crowd, the state RIGHTLY helps those people. To every other extent its not the states fault you weren't prepared for the hurricane. For those who were missing college football, the NFL or your favorite show on Fox News/CNN, or who couldn't deal with a week or so without electricity shame on you for expecting the state to be your mom. Grow up.
I always hear that Americans are a resilient bunch. We had better hope so because when an entire society of adolescents masquerading as adults isn't able to get more credit and actually has to PAY off their debt and buy things with REAL money the nation has two choices: collapse into a tantrum for the ages demanding someone else provide their needs or grow up. I hope we choose to grow up.
Will continue blogging ....
I have decided to continue blogging but it will likely be at a slower and more deliberate pace ... I have to keep that life-blog balance in check.
Peace be with you all ...
Hurricane Gustav and DAWGS!
Looks like we are in for a rough ride.
The eye of this storm looks, officially, like it is going to miss us to the west although slight variations to the right of path (certainly possible) could put the eye close to our home. Still we are in for a mess. We can see the outflow eerily creeping over our house right now. Tropical storm force winds are all but expected with gusts to hurricane strength. Also, there have been numerous comparisons to Hurricane Betsy which left part of New Orleans under water and resulted in strong hurricane force winds in the Baton Rouge area (thats me). Anyway, we are not close to a surge prone area so water isn't a problem. Straight line winds and tornadoes are for us. Prayers would be greatly appreciated.
In news of lesser importance .... Yesterday my alma mater beat Mississippi State 22-14
. Its kind of been marred by the storm but I'll take it anyway. YAY!
Court doesn't invent non-existent parental rights ...
Federal Court Rejects Parents’ Rights
I want to make it very clear that I understand this concern, however, you relinquish the right of what is being taught to your children when you let them out the door. The courts have been very clear on this. This is THE number one reason why homeschooling is and should be legal in all states. It returns proper order to the natural right of parents to educate their children to where it should be.
First parents should have a clear path of input. Second to that should be initiatives that allow "school choice" (i.e. vouchers) to be used as the parent sees fit. Third should ultimately be the right of parents to educate their children at home.
See my parental rights entry
for more details on why the state cannot protect the wishes of each and every parent regarding what should and should not be taught at school.
Speaker Pelosi, meet the United States Catholic bishops
Can be found here through Google docs
I can still make edits to it and it will show up. I will look at how it is displayed for people who do not have a Google account. You should be able to save it in any format. I will add direct links to the Word and PDF versions when I figure that out :)
Contraception: A Prophecy FULFILLED
I want to thank OpinionatedCatholic
for linking, in a round about way, to this .. A Prophecy FULFILLED
. It expounds upon the article I linked in regarding the prophecies fulfilled by Humanae Vitae itself
. This list is incredible. Keep in mind it was written in 1962
• “We do not hesitate to say that the acceptance of contraception will produce profound changes in our civilization, these changes are already taking place in countries that have officially endorsed contraception for one or two generations.”
• “Voluntary numerous families will progressively disappear, and the large family will tend to appear as a monstrosity.”
• “Populations and families which have deliberately become less creative will experience spiritual ageing and premature sclerosis.”
• “The idea and the ideal of family happiness will be downgraded in terms of a so-called right to happiness and of what people think are the ‘techniques’ of achieving it.”
• Morality among the young will deteriorate. The unmarried will be more licentious. The sexuality of women will lose its connection with marriage.”
• “There will be a grave change in the bond of love, due to the reversal of sexual function. It will remain fixed at an ‘adolescent’ stage. Society as a whole will slip into this ‘transitory’ stage.”
• “The maternal instinct will become sterile, due to the repression of the desire for children which is innate in women. There will be a silent hostility toward life and its first manifestations: pregnancy, childbirth and even sometimes towards dolls and babies.”
• “A new concept of sex, now essentially defined as ‘the capacity for erotic play for the sake of the couple,’ all reference to procreation now being only accidental.”
• “A growing tolerance of homosexual behavior, as erotic play that succeeds in expressing personal intimacy between friends or lovers.”
• “Finally, contraception will raise hopes which it cannot fulfill, and will give rise to frustrations and deep dissatisfactions, which will contribute to:
- The crisis of divorce and instability of modern marriages.
- The deterioration of mental health, and lack of sexual desire in women.
- The abdication of parents confronted by their task as educators.
- The ennui secreted by a civilization that is entirely centered on a comfortable way of life and sexual satisfaction.”
• “We may be accused of drawing a rather somber picture. No one will reproach us for not being frank. It only remains to justify these predictions.”
I find it ironic that the medical impact and the environmental impact
are what is alarming people to this today. Face it folks, the Church was onto this decades ago.
Mexico church assailed for maligning miniskirt
Mexico church assailed for maligning miniskirt
Women dressed in miniskirts and low-cut shirts have rallied at the doors of Mexico City's Cathedral during Sunday Mass, carrying signs that read: "Clothed and naked, I am the same."
Guadalupe Loaeza, a renowned Mexican social commentator, said she worries the priest's statements will be taken seriously and make it acceptable to blame the victim.
"It gives rapists permission to say, 'Well, she had on a miniskirt,'" Loaeza said. "What the church says has credibility — that's why this type of statement is so dangerous."
First off: "Clothed and naked, I am the same."
If by this you mean the inherent dignity of women is important - the Church agrees with you.
That said, the rebuke from the priest gives men no such permission to rape women. In fact, it is offensive gobbledygook that is insulting to the basic intelligence of men. It presupposes
that men are going to make the grossly illogical intuitive leaps. What is worse is that she undermines her own case by implying that she believes men are already making this intuitive leap and to have the Church say this somehow ratifies it. In the priests example men are only making ONE illogical intuitive leap - "miniskirt = free sex" (although in this day of Sex in the City I question whether its all that big of a leap -- but I'll grant it). In her example, they are making the same illogical leap AND THEN compounding it with the further twisted "I have permission because a priest told her wearing a skirt meant that" leap.
If you are going to suggest men are that dense and dangerously illogical then it only makes even more sense
to put more clothing on.
Let me break it down in layman's terms. Its like covering yourself in honey and walking into bear infested woods. Its your right, but don't say you weren't warned. Its not blaming women. Its acknowledging and reacting responsibly towards a weakness of men. You'd sensibly grant that honor to a bear now wouldn't you?
Guess what ... These men are not batting about this idea for their own benefit or to keep women down. They understand the fire you are playing with. They've been there.
Episcopal priests from Fort Worth may be looking at Catholicism
Episcopal priests from Fort Worth may be looking at Catholicism
I am curious if anyone has any inside information here. My understanding is that the vast majority of "conservatives" in the ECUSA are of a more Evangelical stripe than an Anglo-Catholic stripe. Is that not true of Fort Worth?
I just cannot imagine that masses of people who have more in common doctrinally with the Thirty-Nine articles (i.e. strongly Protestant) than with the historically apostolic churches would have any interest in swimming the Tiber. Don't get me wrong, I would love to see this happen mostly because my appreciation for Anglican liturgy runs deep. I would love to see lots of Anglican Use parishes all over the US. As I said after my trip to London regarding Westminster Cathedral (near the Victoria train station):
Most impressive to me is the area containing a list of the popes (since the time of St. Augustine of Canterbury) and the English Catholic patriarchs throughout history. It really tied together my time as an Episcopalian to my reversion back to the Catholic faith. I get English Catholicism so much more than I do American Catholicism. There seems to be a tremendous focus on beauty and on GOOD music. The choirs at Westminster Cathedral were a delight to hear. (source)
My wife and I also attended mass at Brompton Oratory
on a cold rainy night.
Back to ECUSA conservatives - Even if the bishops are prone to make the move, I am not sure this wouldn't result in a similar schism of the ECUSA conservative laity.
It'll be interesting, that's all I know ....
Children at mass ... *puff*
My 18mo son was a real bear this past Sunday at mass. Still he provided me with a touching moment. When I went up to receive communion he was still babbling while I was walking through the line. When I got to the kneeler in front of the rail all of the sudden he was quiet. I was thinking "aahhhhh what a blessing".
Then all of the sudden I hear him go *puff* -- I tried to stay focused but he kept going *puff* -- finally I realized he was really quiet and not bothering anyone *puff*. After I received *puff* I looked up to notice that I was on the kneeler right in front of one of the altar candles.
My son was trying to blow out the candle from 8 feet away.
The movie Brazil ... in real life
My wife and I have been recently discussing the movie Brazil. Its time to watch it again. Especially after my wife went through this:
So the other day at William's lunch break we drove downtown in the van with the kids so I could pay a traffic ticket. The ticket said I could mail it or pay in person at the Governmental Office Building (read: Ministry of Information) on St Louis Street. I was going to mail it, but I called and they said I had missed the two weeks advance date to mail it in.
I have never been in this building, but I have seen politicians coming out of it before surrounded by news people. We locate the building which, like all old Baton Rouge buildings, is done in Art Deco. and I go in and go up to the 2nd floor which is all my traffic ticket says to do. The building seems quiet and empty. I also notice that on the back of the ticket there's a little square that says "Rm 1097". Couldn't figure out what that was for.
I go up the musty old elevator and step out onto the 2nd floor. To one side is a glass wall behind which there are endless magazine boxes lined up on shelves. It is the registrar of voters. To the other side there is another glass wall which says Sherriff's something or other. That's gotta be the one, so I go in. It's lit with florescent lights and there seem to be papers absolutely everywhere. Stacks and stacks. And people on phones and doing stuff with the paper. This was all behind a very long counter. There must've been 40 or 50 people in this room working. I don't remember seeing a single computer, but I want to say there at least some tr-80s.
I began to notice signs on the counter amongst all the papers. Some referred to traffic tickets. I stared at all this for a while and then figured out that traffic tickets were to be paid at the end of the counter. I looked aaaaallll the way down, and sure enough there was a slightly higher counter with an enormous sign in red letters stating 'ALL TRAFFIC TICKETS TO BE PAID HERE". Below the sign there sat a black woman with an elaborate hairstyle talking on the phone.
When I approached and set my bag down at the edge of the counter behind a foot and a half of stacked paper, she hung up the phone and sighed deeply with eyes half open. As I was getting out my ticket and the wallet I said "I need to pay a traffic ticket." She said half asleep that I needed to go up to room 1012 and get the paperwork and fill it out and then come back down and pay the ticket. So I repack my purse and head up the elevator.
On the 10th floor, there is a closed cafe behind a glass wall, lots of tables and chairs, and not much else. I was confused. Then I noticed that there were well hidden doors amongst all the brown paneling. The numbers were all out of order. There was 1001 next to 1027, and a hallway which said it had a traffic court in it somewhere. Finally I noticed a sign on door 1001 which said several other rooms were in it, like 1097 and 1012. Ah ha. I went in and found myself in a smaller browner hallway.
A man rushed past me from the door I had just entered with a wheeled cart full of envelopes and files. He stopped and began fiddling with the files. Next to me there was a hallway directing me to 1012. In the wall of this hallway there was a window-like opening. It said traffic tickets above it. This was it! So I walked up to the window. There was a low desk immediately on the other side there were paper taped up all over the place. The whole room, which didn't appear to be very large, but continued on to the right beyond the view of the window, was lined with tall metal filing cabinets. There were also files all over the floor and sitting atop the cabinets.
Another black woman with an elaborate hairstyle sat at the low desk and looked up at me. I said "I need to pay a traffic ticket." She said, "I need the ticket, please." I handed her the ticket and she wandered off to the right amongst all the filing cabinets. I waited a while, and she reappeared having made a copy of the ticket. She kept the copy of the ticket and the ticket and wrote some stuff on the copy. She handed me two sets of carbon copied legal size forms. They were already filled out. She said I was to bring these downstairs and pay my ticket and then bring the yellow copies back up and put them in the box at the counter in the window.
So back down I went with my papers. I stepped into the elevator, and there was a man with crazy looking gray hair wearing a rumpled suit facing into the corner of the elevator and mumbling occasionally into his cell phone. He got out at the 6th floor. I peered out onto the 6th floor. It had a long maze of ropes for waiting in line and signs saying "Information" and "wait here". I have no idea what the 6th floor was for.
I paid my ticket and started back up to the 10th floor. At the 6th floor, the rumpled man got back in again, this time facing out from his corner. He had a file and was shuffling around in it. At the 10th floor, I got out and quickly rushed in and dropped my yellow copies into the box, even though someone else was now standing at the window. I was a little afraid I'd be told to wait in line to do this, so having done it, I rushed back out and down. I got to keep the pink copies. I used them to write a grocery list on. And for entertainment in the car on the way back to William's office. The cost of the ticket was broken down into about 14 different categories of $2-$5 each. Each category was labeled with a code of letters and numbers referring to some fund or legal code.
So Brazil really exists. It's art deco and it's called the Governmental Office Building. I found myself praying for these people and wondering if God cared about government.
When in doubt mail in your fines rather than pay them in person.
The Inflatability of the Church
Carbon free organic sugar
The solar eclipse of 1 Aug 2008
OK, so I am late on this ... So, is anyone else amazed that the Sun is 100 Sun diameters from Earth and the moon is 100 moon diameters from the Earth and if the distances of either were all that much different, solar eclipses as we see them wouldn't look like this:
Instead they might look like this:
Or simply this:
Isn't random chance awesome? ;)
You can see more coverage by clicking the image below ...
HT to Fr. Z over at WDTPRS
... as if the two hits he will get from my blog is going to inflate his numbers by any appreciable amount.
Let the little children come to me
Tonight is my adoration night. I leave the house at 10:30pm and I "watch" for my hour between 11pm and midnight. Four out of five of the last Sundays I have brought at least one of my children to adoration with me. Now its unusual for our children, even with our sleep struggles, to be up at 10:30 on any given night. For some reason we have always had a child awake late on Saturday and my solution to the problem was to go ahead and take the opportunity to bring them to adoration.
This week I had grand plans for adoration. In a few short weeks I have a talk I am supposed to be giving at my parish. I have a vague idea of what I plan to talk about. Tonight was going to be my night to plant my face in the ground and listen to God. God had other plans. At 10:20 my daughter overheard me tell my wife that I had to leave for adoration. She runs eagerly up to me and says "Daddy, I want to go to adoration." This was quickly followed by my two older boys. The first thought that popped into my mind was "great, I will not get my answers tonight". I had 10 minutes to get three children ready -- ages 6, 5, and 4. We piled in the van and I grabbed a CD -- the seasonally inappropriate Christmas chant CD my brother-in-law brought back from Germany.
The trip to the chapel was littered with the usual smattering of arguments that tend to go on between my children. My oldest was distraught that this wasn't just going to be his special time with me. He was indignant at having to share adoration with his siblings -- I understood his pain. My plans were long dashed. I was wondering what I was getting myself into. With one child I have a great deal of control. I can read stories and within a few minutes I know I will have a sleeping child. After all, its kind of late. Three is a new dynamic.
We pulled into the chapel parking lot. My daughter wanted to be carried which was a no-go because I had to have free hands to carry pillows and type in the security code at the door. When we got in, as parents often do, I suggested a quick visit to the bathroom. Finally we went to the door to enter the room with Jesus. My children all walked in. My boys laid prostrate before the Eucharist along with myself. My daughter was a little unsure of what to do. I tried to get them to settle in, just as I always do, near me and as FAR away from any other person who might be there. One son tugged on the other which resulted in a tackle. I diffused the situation calmly and sat them close to me. Now the poor soul who has the hour before me always stays til 11pm. Tonight his usual 10 minute ritual before leaving was cut to an amazingly swift 30 seconds. That left me, three children and seventy minutes with Jesus.
After a few moments I realized that I forgot to bring a bible in before entering the chapel. My intent was to read the multiplication of the loaves to my children. I wandered out for 15 seconds to grab the bible. When I returned ALL three of my children had wandered UP TO the monstrance. I felt indignant. My instinct was to pull them back to where I had set them but I felt a calm reassurance that I was supposed to leave them there.
Matt 19:13-14 Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
God had never so clearly placed a verse in my head. Jesus was calling them here. They stood in wonder. They asked questions. They said "Hi" to Jesus. They did as little children do, demonstrating faith mountains larger than the piddling amount I eek out. They were here to teach me about how to believe in Jesus. Eventually I ushered them to the back. My four year old daughter insisted that I let her sleep with a rosary. My five year old son snuggled in next to me. I asked him "So, do you like being here with Jesus". "Yeah daddy" he replied. "There is no place I would rather be". My six year old snuggled quietly at my feet. Tonight, I fell asleep with my children.
When midnight rolled around the woman who keeps watch after me came in. She has watched on and off this odd progression of weeks. I leave with thoroughly asleep children hanging over my shoulder and toss out a truncated wave as I walk out the door. She has expressed great joy that they want to be there. Trust me, its not my grand parenting skills that has me dragging little children out at odd hours of the night in a questionable part of town to spend time with God. Its all them. Tonight though, I was in a pickle. I had to get three sleeping children into the car. She held the door for the first two. When I went to grab my daughter I told her the beginning of this story -- how my daughter asked and the boys insisted on coming too. The light glistened just so that I could see she was crying. I said good night and put my daughter in the car. All the while home I kept thinking about what it was that made her cry. I knew what it was. She saw the faith of little children. Ones who show up and walk right up to Jesus and say "Hi".
For those looking for information on homeschooling, the following two links give my reasons -- and my perceived negatives of the choice. A not so short list of reasons why we have chosen to homeschoolNegative aspects of homeschooling
The biggest gripe you will hear from people if you make this choice is what about socialization?
. Get some facts though. You will be asked a lot :)
Speaking from experience, our local homeschooling group has 80 families. We even had a yearbook this past year. From all evidences I have seen in practice socialization is alive and well in homeschooling circles.
Chesterton Square in Ponchatoula, Louisiana
Civil authority interfering in matters relating to religion
Speaking of the Syllabus of Errors
- I find it interesting that it was even necessary to condemn this:
44. The civil authority may interfere in matters relating to religion, morality and spiritual government: hence, it can pass judgment on the instructions issued for the guidance of consciences, conformably with their mission, by the pastors of the Church. Further, it has the right to make enactments regarding the administration of the divine sacraments, and the dispositions necessary for receiving them. -- Allocutions "In consistoriali," Nov. 1, 1850, and "Maxima quidem," June 9, 1862.
One of the biggest concerns I have with the creep of scope regarding same-sex marriage is the possibility of the state enacting laws that overstep their traditional bounds and require the Church to marry gays, ordain women or any other manner of forced ecclesiastical dissent under the guise of "individual freedom" or "employment rights".
Time will tell.
The Vindication of Humanae Vitae
This is making the rounds on St. Blogs. I cannot tell you how good this article is ... The Vindication of Humanae Vitae
... its a long read but it is well worth the effort.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh,” the Psalmist promises, specifically in a passage about enjoying vindication over one’s adversaries. If that is so, then the racket on this fortieth anniversary must be prodigious. Four decades later, not only have the document’s signature predictions been ratified in empirical force, but they have been ratified as few predictions ever are: in ways its authors could not possibly have foreseen, including by information that did not exist when the document was written, by scholars and others with no interest whatever in its teaching, and indeed even inadvertently, and in more ways than one, by many proud public adversaries of the Church.
Those four items being
The encyclical warned of four resulting trends: a general lowering of moral standards throughout society; a rise in infidelity; a lessening of respect for women by men; and the coercive use of reproductive technologies by governments.
I don't want to spoil it by copying here all the choice quotes. Go read it ...
Then ask yourself why we still have groups calling
for the Church to change her teaching.
---From a different article marking the 40 year anniversary---
When “Humanae Vitae” came out in July 1968 I thought I better read a copy of it. So I went up to my Newman Club chaplain at the University of Minnesota and I asked him where I could find a copy of “Humanae Vitae.” And his comment to me was, “What do you want to read that kind of trash for?”
This irritated me. It was not his role to make an editorial comment to me. He was a priest, a Catholic priest. He ought to at least be sharing what the Church was saying, and not be so afraid of it.
Indeed .... after all, Paul VI was right about its consequences. The cause should be considered.
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By their FRUITS - Way to go WYD pilgrims!
The Pope's Pilgrims Sway Australia
Then the pilgrims came. The winter weather turned heavenly — one blue day after another. And the crowds of youths weren't quite the kind party-mad "Sinny" is used to. They were happy, patient, peaceable. They sang hymns and waved flags. When protesters threw condoms at them, they shouted, "Jesus loves you, too." When gay activists dressed as monks, nuns and devils shouted "Pope Go Homo, Gay Is Great," pilgrims made peace signs. After a mass on Bondi Beach, some high-spirited worshipers plunged into the surf. "They don't feel the cold, obviously," said local resident Lilian Selby. "I'm freezing."
I love it! Thank you youth for witnessing to the cynical.
To return to something I posted the other day: By their FRUITS you will know them. These are fruit. Why would anyone judge us by those who pour the medicine down the sink?
Way to go WYD pilgrims!